JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — After outraged residents of the Hunter’s Lake neighborhood spoke out against their homeowner’s association board voting to remove and exterminate its goose population, they feel their voices have been heard.

“I was very pleased to know we could claim a bit of a victory here,” said neighbor Karen Frederick.

Frederick and fellow homeowner Susan Carson have led the charge for months to alert neighbors that the board voted in March to receive a permit to allow the USDA to roundup and lethally gas the geese during their molting season, a time when they cannot fly, which occurs in June.

From the beginning, their goal was to stop the removal.

“Let’s be just a little more tolerant and try to coexist,” said Carson.

The announcement of the board’s reversal follows a News Channel 11 report published in April, when we first spoke with Carson, Frederick and several other neighbors who expressed their displeasure and shock at the vote.

“It’s just the idea of the roundup and the idea that they are gassed just because it’s an inconvenience for people who aren’t happy about an occasional goose dropping,” said Frederick.

“That’s really been a revelation to a lot of people, they say, ‘gosh I didn’t they were really going to kill them,'” said Carson.

Friday, WJHL obtained a copy of a letter sent to homeowners on June 9, detailing the board’s decision to cancel the roundup.

“At the March board meeting, the Board of Directors approved engagement of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to perform a recommended goose round up to manage the
significant increase in the goose population and associated mess as observed earlier in the spring in response to homeowner concerns,” the letter reads.

“To date, the goose population has significantly reduced as a result of a number of other mitigation efforts. The current situation does not warrant the engagement of the USDA. The Board has approved additional wildlife management strategies, so the lakes areas are useable by the walkers while we coexist with wildlife.”

Neighbors Carson and Frederick were pleased with the announcement and hope it is permanent.

“We can’t expect that we are going to be in total control of that environment,” said Frederick.

After the initial backlash, the neighborhood board also issued a survey. It found of 62 homeowners that responded: 34 opposed the removal of the geese; 22 were in support of the plan to exterminate.

“In the end it showed that the majority of the people who responded were in favor of them reconsidering this and going back on their decision,” said Carson.

The president of the neighborhood board declined further comment to News Channel 11 beyond the notice sent to neighbors.

“The Board understands and recognizes the different views people have around this decision as there is no one decision that will make everyone happy,” the board’s letter reads. “We encourage participation on the committees and the board to help manage our neighborhood in the best way possible.”

The survey responses from neighbors also included several suggestions of further goose deterrence aside from total removal. Some of those include:

  • Increase the number of times the lake’s sidewalk is blown off
  • Try grape seed smell deterrent by Critter Control
  • Increased reminders to neighbors to not feed the wildlife
  • High powered lasers, bird bangers and bird screamers to harass the geese
  • Install decoy swans or consider adding live swans to the lakes

Several goose deterrence efforts were already underway at Hunter’s Lake. The population of geese has dwindled since News Channel 11’s first report in April.

The board added in their statement that based on homeowner responses, “We will investigate the cost of utilizing some of the additional methods identified by the questionnaire should they be needed.”